Wednesday, October 01, 2008

And now for something completely different...a working drumcarder!

Well, it always worked. But I haven't used it for a LONG time. And not because I don't want to. But processing wool in my kitchen is a long, arduous process of boiling pots of water and such and I have just been looking longingly at my beautiful machine. However, at the moment I have a couple of issues that the drum carder can help me with:

1) No money for buying fiber. Which means October Frost will go the way of all things this winter unless I think of some other way to get the wool. I wanted to use Oatmeal Bluefaced Leicester from Paradise Fibers but no way, not right now.

2) I do have 1 whole raw fleece and 2 half raw fleeces in bins in the garage. Which I haven't really been able to reach for a year and a half. But DH has been redoing the garage (since the happy end of our now ex-friend's extended stay with us) so that we can reach things like books (!) and the children can play with their large-format toys. So the fleece bins are reachable.

Yesterday, I washed some fleece. Here is the raw material: gray fleece raw This is a beautiful fine gray fleece with tan tips that I purchased at the very last L.A. County Fair Fleece Auction in 2005? I think it's about 6.5 pounds. The first year that I competed in the spinning contest (and won the Novice Class). It is super bouncy and soft. Here is some of it drying out in the sun: gray fleece washed It doesn't look like much now, but I will have pictures of batts later today, I hope!

Of course, the first batch was a bit sticky and had to go through one more wash and two more rinses. Ho hum. I should have better luck today as the second batch was clean after 2 washes and 2 rinses. I just MUST get the water hot enough to melt the lanolin.

I think this wool will make a beautiful gray aran sweater that I will wear for years and years. The Oatmeal BFL that I bought for sampling will make a couple of gorgeous pairs of socks. Now the trick is to spin yarn that won't pill. I plan for a true 3-ply, nice and firm. And I know there will be enough, yay!

Here goes! I'll be carding while watching MSNBC, C-Span and CNN all day. Can't miss anything!

Peace.

2 Comments:

Blogger Heide said...

A friend of mine is going to deliver several Hefty bags full of raw fleece. I'm thrilled and scared at the same time. Hopefully I'll be able to find someone nearby to process them for me because that's a task beyond my patience and abilities. I love the color of your fleece and it's sure to be quite lovely regardless of what you spin and knit with it.

3:29 PM  
Blogger sopranospinner said...

It took me like 4 hours to card 5 batts. 6 passes to get all of it nice. At this rate, I will be knitting this sweater in 2010!

4:39 PM  

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